Computer Failure Temporarily Shuts Down IRS E-File System


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) experienced a computer hardware failure on Wednesday afternoon. Such incident affects numerous tax processing systems, which are inaccessible at the moment.

IRS Doing Current Repairs

The IRS is now in the process of performing necessary repairs and ensuring that normal operation would be restored in the soonest possible time. However, the agency foresees that several systems may still not be available until Thursday.

"The IRS remains in close contact with e-file software transmitters and the tax community during this period," the official IRS statement reads.

Affected Services Of The Computer Failure

The IRS is still in the process of assessing the extent of the computer failure.

The agency has already detected several systems that have become affected by the outage. One of these is its modernized e-file system and some other related systems.

The IRS specifically mentioned that tools for taxpayers and tax practitioners are out of order. Although the official website is still up, users may not be able to avail of some online services such as "Where's My Refund".

Advice To Public

Taxpayers may still prepare and submit their tax returns as per usual procedures. They can also file their tax returns to their e-file companies as these firms will keep the files until the IRS is ready to accept electronic tax returns.

Those who have already filed their taxes will no longer need to do anything.

Status Of Refunds

The IRS does not expect major problems with refunds. The agency still believes that about nine out of 10 taxpayers will get their refunds within 21 days.

On Jan. 28, the IRS issued a news release stating that the best way to check for the status of refund requests is to go online and click on the "Where's My Refund" tool at the official IRS website. Taxpayers may also check on the IRS mobile phone app.

IRS officials dissuade taxpayers from calling the agency regarding this matter.

The IRS understands that people would want to know when exactly they would get their refunds. However, officials inform taxpayers that checking the online tool more than once a day will not generate new information. The data on the website is updated only once daily and it is usually done overnight.

Photo: Tim Evanson | Flickr

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